Reminders for Bush, who claims 'few regrets'



Former President George W. Bush told interviewers the other day that he has “few regrets” about his tenure in the White House. I understand completely. As a fellow baby boomer, my memory isn’t exactly the steel trap it used to be, so I think I know where Bush is coming from: he's probably forgotten most of his actions during those eight years. Dubya may regret one thing before too long, however: his admission that he approved the use of waterboarding. Various organizations, including Amnesty International, the ACLU, and other anti-torture groups, are now calling for a special prosecutor to explore whether Bush violated federal statutes prohibiting torture. (The Justice Department has ruled that waterboarding is torture and, therefore, a crime under federal anti-torture statutes.)

So, yes, torture – that’s one thing Bush should regret. But there are other regrettable Bush actions the former president has, I believe, simply forgotten. We’re here to help, so, hoping our greatest Preznit from Texas reads this, here is a partial list of things Dubya should try to remember, and maybe even regret.

• The blithe dismissal of pre-9/11 warnings of impending attacks.

• Cherry-picking and “fixing” the intelligence, in order to justify the invasion of a country whose government had been so weakened by sanctions, it couldn’t have been a threat to other countries (much less the U.S.) if it wanted to.

• 4,400 dead American soldiers.

• 33,000 wounded and/or maimed American soldiers.

• Over a half-million Iraqis killed.

• The two million Iraqi refugees who left their own country in order to survive.

• The appointment of incompetent cronies to important positions, and the failure to oversee their performance, which led directly to FEMA's ruinous post-Katrina performance and the rampant politicization of the Justice Department.

• Using the Justice Dept. to punish political enemies and pervert the selection of judges and prosecutors.

• Ratcheting up official fear-mongering (even color-coding it!) whenever it was politically advantageous.

• Oversaw an unprecedented, broad program of computer-snooping and warrantless wiretapping of American citizens.

• Ordering the indefinite detention of anyone deemed an "enemy combatant," and setting up a detention center in Guantanamo Bay to hold most of them.

• Approval of the "rendition" of prisoners to countries where they were tortured

• Oversight, if that's what you call it, of the catastrophic mismanagement of the war in Iraq.

• Dragging America's name and reputation through the mud, and seriously weakening our international political and economic positions.

OK, that’s all the time we have today for what Bush’s should-be list of regrets, and we haven’t even started on environmental mistakes or social justice issues. But, Mr. Preznit, we hope you’ve enjoyed this session of memory-jogging. Maybe one day, you’ll even be self-aware enough to think seriously about your disastrous time in office.

Regrets? Hmm, let me see. . . .
  • Regrets? Hmm, let me see. . . .

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